Harrison defeats coach, South for Crown

3-for-3, 4-RBI day lifts North all-stars, 12-7

High Schools

June 12, 2000|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Though they shared the same bench during the season, South Carroll coach George Richardson and catcher Gary Harrison found themselves in opposite dugouts for yesterday's 19th Crown High School All-Star Game.

And, for at least one day, the Carroll County player got the best of his coach, going 3-for-3 with a home run, double and four RBIs to lead the North to a 12-7 victory over the South at Oriole Park.

The annual senior showcase, which followed the Orioles' 7-2 win over the Phillies, at times better resembled batting practice. All told, there werefour home runs,eight doubles and a triple in a game that usually turns into a pitchers' duel.

For Harrison, who was named Most Valuable Player of the North, the day provided a memory that will surely last a lifetime.

"I just wanted to come out and try my best, and luckily I did well," said Harrison, whose coach was forced onto the South bench because of a geographic glut of coaches in the North. "I played for [Richardson] for three years, so I was just glad he was here."

For Richardson, the loss was secondary to his catcher's success.

"I just wish he could've hit like that all spring," said South Carroll's coach.

It was also a big day for several other area hitters from the North - Calvert Hall's Allen Strick (2-for-3, double, RBI) and Eastern Tech's Josh Kenney (2-for-3, double, RBI) - and from the South - North County's Richard Guarnera (1-for-2, double).

On a day when hitters ruled, however, one area pitcher came away with high honors.

Severna Park's Josh Banks started for the South, allowing just one run - a bases-empty homer by Frederick's Corie O'Bryan - over two innings, and striking out four to earn his team's Most Valuable Pitcher award.

"Balls were flying out," Banks said, "but if you make the right pitches, you should get them out."

The game got off to a rather ominous start for the North, as starter Phil Akens, an All-Metro pitcher from Fallston, taken in the 13th round by the Florida in last week's amateur draft, allowed Marlins first-inning homers to Damascus' Corey Consuegra and Riverdale Baptist's Joe Kemp.

Trailing 3-1, the North answered with four runs in the bottom of the third, including three on Harrison's homer down the line off Quince Orchard's Mike Johnson.

"I knew I hit the ball hard, but I didn't think it was out," Harrison said. "I rounded first and saw it go out, and I was pretty happy."

The North then scored three in the fourth and two more in the fifth to put the game out of reach.

Even for those without a hit, the day was still one to remember. Players were introduced before the game and presented bats engraved with their names by the Orioles' Mike Trombley and Harold Baines.

Teams were selected after a series of regional tryouts throughout the state, which included more than 250 players.

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